Posted on 8/25/12 07:28 PM
Review Number: 2
Ted - Some jokes were amusing (eg, the parents reaction to finding out Ted's alive for the first time), some of the jokes fell flatter than a Kansas interstate (eg, the narration at the beginning and end was more 'I don't want to hear this' than funny when trying to crack jokes) and some were sick (eg, Ted having sex - yes you read that right).
Seth McFarlane is significant enough to have made me want to go and see this film on his own. Consequently the idea of this artist branching out into a feature film didn't trouble me. I was rather looking forward to it. Despite my own reservations about Mark Wahlberg (he chooses boring roles) I was rather looking forward to him playing a comic adolescent-locked-into-middle-age character.
The movie theater was completely packed and there were jokes that didn't garner one single laugh. Sometimes I couldn't tell if they were trying to make a joke or not. Some jokes were supposed to be kinda mean, but were just kinda dumb. There were times it seemed like the audience laughed because they thought they were supposed to. In the hall, I had a Jew sitting in the front, an Asian on my left, a Mexican on my right and a black man behind me. So, even if I wanted to, I couldn't laugh at allot of places. If you're wondering how I found about the Jew, well, he was laughing the hardest in the first kid scene.
The film has its funny moments, including a selection of guest appearances that cover everyone's idea of what a 'cameo' ought to be (see if you can spot Curtis Stigers, a musical collaborator with McFarlane). Unfortunately it also represents the same sort of humour that makes Family Guy rather frustrating. Free of network censorship, it felt like he tried too hard to try and shock an audience that's already been around the block a few times. The humor is exactly what you would expect, however, Family Guy is a 22 minute show and Ted stretched a single gag for way too long. Family Guy is quick and hits you with joke after joke, but the timing for Ted became painful. Like latter- day Richard Curtis, McFarlane tries to work a comic seam by shocking outrageously, not so much stepping as leaping over the line between close-to-the-bone and unacceptable.
Yet for all its shenanigans, the amount of heart and sincerity in some of the relationship drama between John and Lori is surprising. Wahlberg and Kunis are generally pretty convincing, even if it's a bit weird that John is mature enough to have a relationship last four years but not enough to not screw things up at his job or avoid giving in to Ted's peer pressure. Ted secret weapon lies in the mo-cap that gives him an extra lifelike quality. The film hits some emotional notes early (who can't identify with loving a stuffed animal?) and this helps it to reconnect later on despite all the R-rated chaos in between. That ability alone assures "Ted" will be seen as better than a majority of foul- mouthed, dirty-minded comedies. MacFarlane performance as the titular bear is certainly reminiscent of Peter Griffin, but more importantly, Ted is treated as more than just an opportunity for a never-ending string of jokes that are simply funnier because "it's a teddy bear."
So, there you go Mr. Macfarlane. Not so successful directional debut and yeah, while you'd be singing your way to the bank, you've lost some more respect among your fans. You as a director can go overboard and its almost like you just completely gave up, and think "we'll throw in a few f words here and there and a few scenes with weed and drink and thats it, they're bound to laugh that", however, that isn't true comedy.